The Omicron COVID-19 variant has been detected in North America after Canada announced they’ve discovered two cases. Health officials say the two recently traveled to Canada from Nigeria.

Contact tracing is currently being conducted to determine if anyone else in the country could be infected.


Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Christine Elliott and Kieran Moore, two top health officials in Ontario, have released a statement pleading with the government to take action to prevent future cases.

“We continue to urge the federal government to take the necessary steps to mandate point-of-arrival testing for all travelers irrespective of where they’re coming from to further protect against the spread of this new variant,” they said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci recently appeared on NBC’s Weekend TODAY and explained that Omicron could already be in the U.S. and has simply yet to be detected.

“We have not detected it yet, but when you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility and you’re already having travel-related cases that they’ve been noted in Israel and Belgium and in other places — when you have a virus like this, it almost invariably is ultimately going to go essentially all over,” Fauci said.

President Joe Biden is expected to discuss the variant on Monday.

[Via]